Don’t expect to see the iconic pink knitted, cat-eared caps of last year’s Women’s March turning up in the streets of Tehran anytime soon.
The Women’s March has ignored the plight of Iranian women risking their lives for, among other things, the right to go out in public without covering their heads. Instead, the U.S.-based feminist movement is busy making plans for more anti-Trump demonstrations, where marchers will again freely sport their signature hats.
Fox News commentator Greg Gutfeld said Tuesday that American feminists should be ashamed of their tepid response to the protests.
“The silent American feminist should be stewing in their own shame for not saying anything about this, for remaining silent, for basically saying that American oppression and Iranian oppression is the same thing,” Mr. Gutfeld said on “The Five.”
A spokesperson for the Women’s March did not respond to a request for comment.
Iranian women have become symbolic leaders of the week-old anti-government protests.
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One image that has gone viral shows a young woman standing above a crowd waving her jettisoned white hijab like a flag in defiance of Iranian law requiring women to cover their faces and hair in public.
Another picture captured a young woman covering her face as she runs from tear gas outside of the University of Tehran. The woman, reported to be a student, is raising her first as she emerges from the smoke.
At least 21 people have died and 450 have been arrested in the demonstrations.
Linda Sarsour, a national co-chair of the Women’s March and self-described “homegirl in a hijab,” took to Twitter on Tuesday to defend her organization’s silence.
She said conservatives who support Iranian demonstrators are hypocritical because they do not also stand up for the right of “American women to choose for their own bodies,” referring to abortion.
In another tweet, Ms. Sarsour criticized President Trump’s vocal support of the protests.
“Is it just me or is Trump praising Iranian protesters AND at the same time also banned Iranians from entering the USA?” she asked, referring to the travel ban.
Feminists and conservatives have tangled for days over the proper response to the Iranian women’s protests.
A small number of progressives have voiced their support for the Iranian protesters.
Hillary Clinton said the Iranian people are “protesting for freedom and the future they deserve. I hope their government responds peacefully and supports their hopes.”
Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, said all people have the right “to speak out against their government.”
“The government of Iran should respect this right and heed the voices of thousands of Iranians who are demonstrating across the country for better opportunities and a better future,” Mr. Sanders said on Sunday.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, said she stands with the “right of the Iranian people to peacefully protest.”
“The people of Iran deserve a government that respects human rights and works to address their grievances,” Ms. Warren said in a tweet on Tuesday.
But the overwhelming response from American feminists has been silence.
Christina Hoff Sommers, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said the “silence of major feminist groups in the USA is deafening.”
“American feminists need to leave their safe spaces & find ways to support Iranian women who are fighting genuine oppression,” Ms. Sommers said in a tweet.
Hundreds of thousands participated in the Women’s March in Washington on the day after Mr. Trump’s inauguration last year. Millions participated in demonstrations around the world.
This year’s flagship march will be held in Las Vegas on Jan. 21. The theme is “Power to the Polls.”